Podcast: Back to Business in 2021! M&A Kick-Off

Aaron Hasler of SkyView Partners joins Mike Langford to share important trends and expectations for M&A activity within the RIA and independent financial advisor market. Aaron also offers several key recommendations for advisors and firms looking to explore a merger, acquisition, or business sale in 2021.

To listen to the episode simply click play on the audio stream below or listen and subscribe on your favorite podcast platform. You can find The Advisor Financing Forum on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher.

Transcript

Mike:

Hi, there. It's Mike Langford. Welcome to the Advisor Financing Forum, a podcast presented by SkyView Partners. This week on the show, Aaron Hasler and I are doing something a little different. Earlier this week, we hosted a webinar titled Back to Business in 2021, an M&A Kick-Off. We decided to release the webinar as a podcast as well. The webinar is a first of a series that we are producing here in January and February to help you and the rest of the SkyView community jumpstart the new year. If you'd like to see a video of the webinar, you can check it out over on YouTube, on the SkyView Partners channel. While you're there, make sure you give the video a like and click that subscribe button. We are going to be sharing a lot more video this year and you aren't going to want to miss any of it. Of course, make sure you subscribe to the podcast on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you like to get your podcast jam on.

Mike:

Now, before we get started, if you have questions about anything we cover on the webinar, or if you'd like to explore your financing options for M&A, succession or any other use case, feel free to reach out to the team at SkyView by calling (866)-567-6282 or simply swing by skyview.com and click the get pre-approved button, or simply shoot an email to info@skyview.com and someone will get right with you. Okay, let's jump in the DeLorean, you'll get that reference in a second ,and kick things off with the Back to Business series. Here we go.

Mike:

Happy new year. Welcome to the first webinar in the SkyView Back to Business in 2021 series. My name is Mike Langford and with me today is Aaron Hasler, a Managing Partner at Skyview Partners who leads advisory practice mergers and acquisitions consulting for the firm's clients. Today Aaron and I are going to help you jumpstart 2021 with an M&A Kick-off discussion. Welcome, Aaron. Happy new year to you.

Aaron:

Happy new year, Mike, glad to be here. I'm excited to get started on the series.

Mike:

It's going to be fantastic. I'm really looking forward to it as well. The graphics, by the way, Back to Business with the back to future stuff, you know as a child of the 80s, I am down with that. Really, really cool stuff.

Aaron:

100%, and having just rewatched that series with now my children, they are as good as ever and they hold up really well. So, it's a fun series and it's fun to use this theme for the podcast.

Mike:

Awesome, awesome stuff. Well, I thought a great way, in that Back to the Future type of deal, why don't we do a quick 2020 recap? While I think it's safe to say that most of us are thrilled to have 2020 in the rear view mirror over DeLorean, our time machine DeLorean-

Aaron:

Right. Yes. That's right.

Mike:

Yeah, exactly. Looking back at it though, there's a lot of really interesting and positive things that were happening in the M&A space for financial advisors and RAAs last year. Would you mind giving us a quick recap of what you and the team at SkyView saw?

Aaron:

It's absolutely fascinating to look at this year and, I think as time goes on we're going to be more and more awed by what has been accomplished through 2020. I'll never forget coming out of Los Angeles at the end of February with my wife saying, "Hey, get home. This thing is spreading all over the country. Get out of there." Thinking that, as we started to go into full lockdown, as most people did across the country, "How is business going to survive?" And what's been so interesting is that... I think, the pressures of the pandemic and some of the outside factors ultimately increased M&A activity. I think it made advisors slow down and think and be reflective about their practice, start to understand what it means to have a succession plan. As a result, 2020 ended up being a fantastic year for M&A activity across the country.

Aaron:

SkyView was a big participator in this. We had a fantastic year with more loans than we've done. We had 69 loans and almost $130 million in funding, which is far over our 2019 numbers. So again, who would have thought that a global pandemic would have created such a boost in M&A activity across the country or that business would have continued on as it did. That to me is, I think, the most fascinating part, is that we really continue to fund... We started out 2020 very hot with a lot of deals in January and February, but then to see that continue without any hindrance or without any hiccup is pretty remarkable. It'll be fun to take some time periodically and just remind ourselves of what we accomplished this year as an industry and as a society.

Mike:

Yeah. I think it's fantastic. I was really surprised at the resiliency of the RAA and independent advisor space myself and in talking with folks around the industry, not only did the markets hold up well, which I'm sure that helped a lot.

Aaron:

Right. Yeah.

Mike:

Many advisers reporting that they didn't see a lot of uptick in new clients, but their business was particularly stable and their existing clients were really reaching out to them and leaning on them. So as challenging as the year was and we're still in it a little bit and feeling very optimistic for the year ahead, there were a lot of really positive that happened for our space.

Aaron:

One of the things, Mike that I think helped us was when we originally stated why this industry and why this vertical is good, is that in times of crisis, individual clients leaned on their financial advisors for advice and support. A lot of these wealth managers around the country, they don't do just financial planning advice. They really do whole household support, and that's I think, one of the things that's so fascinating about our industry and these businesses that we support, is the personal nature with which they touch the individual lives. So what we saw is that through that crisis, really at March when the market was going a little bit haywire, but then as we got through lockdown and the changes that happened throughout the year is that advisors did pick up assets.

Aaron:

We saw a lot of advisors that met clients for the first time, the only time on Zoom and continued on those discussions. So one of the loans I funded in early March, the advisor picked up almost a hundred million in assets just by reaching out to clients, having conversations, providing that support. So we're really excited about what financial advisors have done this year, because it is supported the vision that we saw from the get-go that this industry can really work through times of crisis, that we have fantastic businesses with good cash flow. When the industry needs it, advisors step up and really support their clients and provide a tremendous invaluable service. So it's fun to see.

Mike:

Very, very cool. Well, now let's shift our gears to looking in the future. Let's look at some of the trends that you and the team at Skyview are expecting to shape the M&A landscape for 2021 and beyond. So first I think, maybe we start talking a little bit about deal structure. One thing that's been fascinating to me is how structures have changed with the introduction of financing that is provided by SkyView. That hasn't been the case forever. Deal structure used to look a lot different. What are you and the team seeing when it comes to deal structuring for M&A now and probably what you're expecting for the 2021 season?

Aaron:

Yeah, that's a great question. So I think that the fundamental issue for SkyView is that at the end of the day, a hundred percent financing or as much financing as an advisor can muster for that particular acquisition, is the game changer that the industry has needed for a long time. That has been our message from day one and continues to be. Which is that when you can finance the entire purchase price, then it gives you a lot of flexibility as far as deal structure. It gives your business a lot of cashflow and allows you to make changes, adapt to a global pandemic, adapt to a market crisis. We continue to preach that message for 2021, especially because I think this year is going to be incredibly interesting, potentially challenging. When we look forward at a new administration here, potential tax changes that could be coming down the horizon, maybe it's in 2022 or later.

Aaron:

What we're going to do is stay attuned to these developments and these changes and create deal structures that work for what we know today, which is the tax game as it stands with the current administration. But then also, what is it going to look like and what changes can we make post-sale to help the sellers still take advantage of all the tax considerations that are available to them? That's what's going to be, I think, very exciting, very fun and challenging for 2021, and I'm looking forward to this opportunity to, again, continue to prove good solutions for our clients.

Mike:

Fantastic. It is going to be interesting. Oftentimes we forget about how big of a role the policy at the federal level will affect some M&A deals particularly. Because there is a lot of taxes that are going to be involved with long-term or short-term capital gains, but in most cases is going to be a long-term capital gain scenario. One of the things that's been fascinating to me since meeting you and the SkyView team is something I learned along the way, is that not every M&A deal results in a hundred percent change in ownership. You guys talk about that all the time, that very often you see partial sales. That it's not always somebody, "Hey, listen. I'm just going to buy your business, and off you go." You see that for a variety of reasons. You see it in a succession effectively, I wanted to say a younger advisor buying a part of the business, and then you see it in other deal structures. Are you expecting partial sales to continue to be a major trend in the industry?

Aaron:

No question about it. I think that's one of the things that we set out in our origination with SkyView to do which fund partial sales. I think they're incredibly important to the industry for professionals, young and old. That's something that we saw in 2020, the numbers proved out a significant uptick in internal succession plans. I think that's just because it's something that wasn't available before or there wasn't a competitive solution. So the message that we've been advertising, the message that we've been talking about through our podcasts and through the good old days when we actually used to go out on the road and do live shows, really pays off and we've continued to train our banks to understand internal succession plans. What the value is, and we've been able to get very creative with our deal structures, and I really enjoy those.

Aaron:

We'll continue to see an uptick in that. I think we had... I was trying to look at the statistics, but I think probably almost 35% of our deals last year in 2020 were internal successions. So that's a big impact and something that I think we'll continue to see as enterprises get larger and larger, advisers do want to stay on board. But what's interesting is the generation of advisors that are in their 50s right now and starting to enter into their 60s are this kind of first generation that for now 15 years have understood that they have an enterprise that they can build and sell. They've started to make the decisions maybe 10, 15 years ago of, "If I add the staff person, I'm building to my enterprise."

Aaron:

Now that we're seeing that group age towards retirement, we are really talking to them about when should they start selling off tranches? When should they diversify from their practice? When do they reward that next generation? We're having these conversations multiple times a week and I really love that development. I think it's a fantastic trend for the industry that will continue to help push forward.

Mike:

What are the other trends that... I believe Cara Miller was the one who shared it with me, was retire in place, trends where the advisor isn't necessarily really just looking to retire the way that we classically think of retiring. That some of these advisors are like, "Look, I built this business. I built these relationships over the years. I do want to stay with the business, but I want to have another glide path." Are you seeing that a little more? Advisor might want to step away from a big piece of the business, but still stay on in some way?

Aaron:

I think if you go ask, 9 out of every 10 advisors, what do they like most about their work and what they do? They would say it's making an impact on people's lives and developing those personal relationships. Now that there's a solution available to continue to do that, which is to sell off tranches of the business, reward your next generation, but still stay involved with those client relationships, that's what most of these advisors want. They want to be able to make a positive impact in their client's lives and keep those long earned, trusted relationships because I think they're fulfilling and satisfying. These clients become friends. So, yes. I think a lot of advisors enjoy the idea that they can take some of the day-to-day responsibility and move it over to their staff and start to develop that next generation of ownership, but still stay involved with their clients.

Aaron:

Maybe I'm biased because we're in the financing game on these internal successions, but I love that approach, and I love the lifestyle that it can create for an advisor. I think most professionals in any facet of life would really appreciate and enjoy that type of equity glide path out of the business. I mean, we think about all these people who work at big corporations, you work at a big corporation and you've developed a career, you've built an MBA, you've moved your way up a large corporate ladder, but at some point you can get aged out of that because you become more expensive or what have you. In this business, you can really stay super productive and active all the way through your 60s and in a lot of cases, even into your 70s, but you have taken some of that big responsibility off your plate and you're really just enjoying the fruits of your labor in the work and the career you've developed, which I really like.

Mike:

I think it's really exciting to think about. This is reflecting back on the changes we saw in, not just in our industry, but in society in 2020 as a result of the pandemic is we have gotten more comfortable working remote. You mentioned that client that brought on a hundred million dollars of new AUM basically via Zoom, via remote relationships. You and I are conducting this webinar/podcast remotely and we're a thousand miles away from each other. We're seeing it on the M&A front too where once advisory firms would look only at M&A partners who were in their neighborhood, if you will. Now, they're starting to be like, Yeah. I'm an Austin, you're in LA, fine. Why not? I'll just we'll do [crosstalk 00:16:09].

Aaron:

Anything's possible, right?

Mike:

Yeah.

Aaron:

I think it's really game changer on a number of levels. Yeah. It's just so fascinating. So we funded the deal just before the end of the year here and I'm actually interviewing him tomorrow, this client, because this is... They never met the advisor in person. So they never met the seller in person and these people bought a fairly sizable practice. Not that far from them. It is only about 60 miles, but at the end of the day, because they met right at the height of the pandemic, they only met via Zoom. The advisor had some health concerns, so that's all they've done. They've started to even communicate and meet these new clients all via Zoom and it's really worked well.

Aaron:

I always joke if my parents who are now in their mid 70s, can do board meetings and choir practice on Zoom, well, of course, the rest of us can conduct life too. That's what we're proving is that this is good technology. It's easy. Clients do understand it and I think it's the new way forward. It really does open up a lot of possibilities for advisors to purchase practices all over the country. So they can focus on other practices, buying or selling other practices where there's a connectivity but geographically, you don't have to be as limited as you were before.

Mike:

Well, it's interesting too, in addition to that, one of the reasons why people often retire is they want to go live someplace else. You live above the Arctic Circle there and I live in the warm part of the country. So at some point in time, you and your wife may come to the decision that, "We're done with all the cold weather living all year long. We'll visit the snow, we'll ski recreationally, but we'll live in the Sun Belt." Advisers are no different than that. But historically, if they had this ambition at 65, 70 years old to go live in the Sun Belt, it was going to be very difficult to manage their client roster. So they might've done a full sale and now that partial sale notion is more attractive. Listen, I can diversify ownership a little bit, take some money off the table. I can move to a warmer part of the country or colder part, whatever they like, and be semi retired, enjoy a little more recreational lifestyle, a little more relaxed, maintain my client relationships and connection to the firm remotely over Zoom. So it's really, really exciting.

Aaron:

I mean, we joke and I think you and I have talked about this and talked about it a number of facets. Had this pandemic happened even five years ago, it would have been much harder on everybody, right?

Mike:

Yeah.

Aaron:

SkyView didn't use Zoom really prior to 2020. It just wasn't something that came up. It wasn't necessary. You picked up the phone, you spoke to somebody. You'd go out and fly and see them, meet them in person. So yeah, I think this technology and this development, as crazy as it sounds, it's created some efficiencies for I think, all working Americans and it's really an enjoyable way to adapt and work with this technology. I still love the face connection. I still miss going out and being able to see people and shake hands and get that camaraderie that you see in person.

Aaron:

But at the end of the day, we have incredible tools and resources, and I think that advisors have realized that they've embraced it. They've been what I would consider to be leaders in that fore front, so the idea that you can now live in Arizona as we dream in Minnesota, live in Arizona or live in Florida part time of the year and still stay connected to clients. That's what we're seeing. We've always seen a trend of advisors wanting to, especially from the upper Midwest, buy practices in Southern or warmer states, but we're funding a couple right now and we'll continue to see that. For those that live in the South, or Southern states or warmer states, I think your practice has become that much more valuable.

Mike:

There you go. Everybody wants to live here. It's warm.

Aaron:

Right. [inaudible 00:20:08].

Mike:

Except in the summer. They do not want to be here in the middle of the summer. Let's shift gears a little bit to, I think, the topic that's always top of mind for any RIA firm or any individual advisor who's considering buying a business specifically, but I'm sure a seller thinks of this as well, is how much money is going to be needed upfront? Because anytime we're making a major acquisition, whether it's a business acquisition like acquiring another practice or buying a house, that's the thing that comes to mind. How much money do I need down and what can I financing? You and I were chatting with Scott Wetzel, CEO of SkyView, earlier today and he mentioned that there are some significant differences in what you're able to do versus other lending opportunities or options for advisors. So maybe you can take us through. How much does an advisor need down to buy a business?

Aaron:

That's a great question, Mike. I love it. This was again, one of the forward missions for SkyView when we started this company, was how do we allow for sellers to have more cash when they got into the transaction, and for the buyers, to put less cash down? Because we are in a lot of cashflow based businesses where it is hard to have retained earnings because of the tax implications in our industry. Buyers are not typically accumulating large amounts of cash and advisors typically have not stored a lot of cash because they've invested it back into the market or into real estate or other opportunities. So we've always gone with a mission of less cash upfront invested into that particular transaction is better. It allows for advisors to take those markets up and down. It allows for them to grow the practice post sale, which is what we're incredibly interested in.

Aaron:

So if you look at of 118 million in total assets funded on conventional loans, we had a funding rate or cash in rate of less than 1.3%. So what that says is out of all of these transactions, the majority of them, it was no cash down. We had just a handful of transactions, seven where banks took any sort of additional collateral position. Whether it be a retirement account that they add some equity in, or a little bit of a cash injection. More often than not, those were to enhance some feature. Whether it's pull our loan value ratio down because we were working on an internal sale, but there was a specific reason outside of just a credit decision that required that advisor to put cash in. So we're really utilizing the tool only as necessary and only to our advantage, but that's a significant amount of cash savings across the industry that allows those advisors to grow post-sale and we're really, really proud of that statistic.

Mike:

So just for those who may not be aware or as knowledgeable about financing, and I suspect that's many of the advisors and folks attending and listening to our conversation here, how is that possible that you're able to do close to a hundred percent financing on a deal? What is it about these deals that makes that a possibility? Because most things we can't buy 100% financing.

Aaron:

I know, isn't that amazing? So there are a couple of big factors. One is we're looking at the practices are the collateral in these positions. So if a loan was to be distressed, if a borrower wasn't paying for it, the practice itself is a collateral. What we've identified is that because practices have a lot of trust and faith in their advisor, meaning the individual clients do, if the advisor says, "Hey, we need to come up with this solution, clients." Clients follow. Clients follow that recommended advice of their financial advisor. So that allows us to say, "The practice's the collateral. These relationships are strong." When we're combining practice A and practice B, you've created a loan to value ratio that's fairly low. We're looking at two practices with significant value that we've combined together. That's very different than if you were say buying a house. When you're buying a house, the only collateral position is that home.

Aaron:

So the bank says, "Hey, Mike, I've got to have you put in 10% or 20%." When we have two businesses, our loan to value ratio is much lower. We have one owner in that case or one majority ownership position, so we are saying to the banks, "Allow the advisors to keep the cash in their pockets because that allows them to ride these market downturns and continue to pay expenses and continue to pay the loan amount, versus putting the cash investment into the business." So there are a few factors there that make a big difference for us. It is I think, fairly unique to this industry. The other way of doing things and the old way of doing things was via SBA loans. SBA loans still have a great time and a place and are a good tool, but those require cash injection. Those required 10% cash injection and the conventional loan doesn't, and that was always our mission, was to underwrite these and manage these in a specific way where we were not requiring cash down. So we've been able to achieve that.

Mike:

I'm so glad you pointed that out, and I actually feel like I get smarter on this webinar. So I like when I learn new stuff, but it really does make sense. When you're merging two businesses or you're adding a new owner to an existing business and that owner comes with his or her own business as well, the debt leverage ratio is not a hundred percent on the newly formed business.

Aaron:

That's right.

Mike:

It may be 50%, or it may be substantially less than 50% because the acquirer is a bigger business or whatever. So that's a really, really interesting point to think about. I hadn't really given it much thought. Thanks, I feel smarter.

Aaron:

Well, it comes down to understanding the business. Everyone at SkyView has grown up in the wealth management industry and then we've taken that information to banking. That makes a big difference because what we can do is understand our knowledge of the wealth management industry and how these practices run and what makes them successful, and then we can pull the bank into the conversation. We obviously are blessed to have a great underwriting team that really understands these businesses, and they have a good fundamental underwriting process that allows the banks to understand what is the precast flow within this business? If a market downturn were to happen, how could they afford this business? That allows us to then strengthen that low cash down or no cash down position for our clients.

Mike:

I love it. I love it. All right. Now let's start talking about the future, even more in depth. Let's talk about some post COVID moves, if you will. I know much of the world stopped and went into that, "Let's just wait this thing out," mode last year. I know many of my folks in my circle who own businesses were in that... They were like, "Look, just don't stick your head up. Just keep your head down, do your thing. You don't want to take any extra risks or do anything crazy. Let's just survive 2020." But I think as we see the vaccine coming, we've got a new year, the sun is out-

Aaron:

There's hope, right? Yeah, absolutely.

Mike:

There's hope. Right. Exactly. A lot of us are looking forward like, "Good stuff's going to happen." So I imagine, almost by selection bias, if somebody is listening to this episode, attending the webinar, they are thinking M&A might be something they want to consider here in 2021. So what would you recommend are the key action steps for those folks to get started on if that is their plan for the new year?

Aaron:

Yeah, it's been interesting. We've been obviously nonstop through the holiday season here, helping clients finish up projects and finish things before the end of the year. The critical things for advisors to look for in 2021 are two factors. One is to prepare now, because we may have tax changes. We don't know what those are going to look like. What I'm really encouraging clients to do is say, "Okay, if you're somebody that is thinking about selling their business, reach out to an M&A professional, call us if you have questions and let's start that conversation now so that you can be prepared, should there be any significant changes happening throughout the course of the year." We continue to see that advisors are using technology to their advantage, so they are reaching out and doing Zoom meetings.

Aaron:

I really hope we're meeting in person a lot more as we go through 2021, very optimistic about that, but let's use these tools to our advantage. We're comfortable with them. So let's keep going, and there is some tremendous efficiency that we can continue to use. So let's embrace these and continue to use them, not just drop them because we can start to get back to normal life. Then one of the things that I think is really important, we, a few years ago built this website called the Advisory Practice Board of Exchange. The idea was to just provide advisors in the industry a window into the M&A world. They're busy, focused on running their practices every day. They're not versed in M&A, except when they're reading about it and doing some research outside of their work time.

Aaron:

If clients go to the Advisory Practice Board of Exchange, they can get purchasing power verified. That's a tool that we really like, which allows us to do a little bit of light underwriting and help advisors understand what their business is about and what's important in their business for bank financing. I encourage advisors that are interested in M&A, maybe they haven't done one in the past, or it's been a few years since they've done an M&A transaction, is to go and get involved on that side. You really have to understand what is involved in the bank financing process, so that you can better measure and manage your practice over the course of 2021 and beyond, to say, "Okay, what makes me attractive for bank financing? What's going to allow me to have that better interest rate than the guy down the street?

Aaron:

What's going to allow me to push that loan to value ratio up a little bit higher, because I want to buy that large practice of that person down the road?" These are the factors that we really encourage advisors to do. It does not take long. It's about 15 minutes to get onto the site and register yourself, and then we'll walk them through the steps. But invest two hours into understanding the basics, and that's going to provide clients with a real breadth of knowledge that they can take going forward to the rest of the year.

Mike:

I love that advice because it is often... As somebody starts to think about an M&A endeavor, one of the last things they start thinking about is, "Am I ready for financing?" Starting there, and making sure that you're prepared from a financing perspective, the process you have to go through will also help you reveal whether you're ready for the M&A itself and whether that's selling business for money.

Aaron:

Yeah. I think the big pressure most advisors feel is, "I need to go find a practice to buy. I need to go find a practice buy, then I can get started." I disagree. I think it's, "I need to invest in my business and understand what's valuable about my business because then I can go and better understand the seller's practice." That's what really we're teaching with the purchasing power tool. It's, "Now I understand my business. I understand what my strength and my business is, so I can go out and have communications and conversations with prospective sellers and say, "Here's what's really good about my business.

Aaron:

Here's what I think we can do together, and here's how bank financing helps us."" These are really exciting tools that... Again, it's a little bit... I mean, these advisors are in the planning business. It's a little bit of planning that goes a long way in terms of preparation. I think what we're going to find is that 2021 is the year where there is going to continue to be a lot of change. I feel like we've all ground through the hard days. Now we're almost ready for anything. It's like nothing is going to surprise us in 2021.

Mike:

So let's hope God...

Aaron:

I know. But I think that's great. I mean, that's created a great intestinal fortitude in all of us as a society, and I think that's a great thing. So, spending that little bit of extra time to prepare and be ready when the right opportunity comes along. We're seeing it almost on a daily basis, for certainly a weekly basis where advisors are calling us because they have a health event. Now it's time to start creating a succession plan and let's move forward with it. We're seeing these advisors in their 50s, come in and ask about internal succession plans and what can their employees and for a foreign on a tranche sale. Ask these questions early, is my theme for 2021. Be prepared. Who knows what's going on next week?

Mike:

That's ...Exactly. Hopefully it's all good next week. I love... Oh Goodness. Well, as we wrap it up here, I thought a good way to leave it if you will, would be with an invitation for people to reach out and give them a little bit of an expectation of what they can expect when they chat with you and the team at SkyView, because making the decision to buy or sell a business or go down the path towards succession, it's a big deal, even if the deal size isn't big.

Aaron:

That's right.

Mike:

It's exciting.

Aaron:

Their first deal or it's their biggest deal. Absolutely.

Mike:

Yeah. It's exciting, but it's also anxiety inducing. Anytime you're making a major decision like that, a major purchase, a major sale, a major lifestyle decision, it can raise the level of, "Huh. I'm a little nervous." So maybe you could take just a... I mean, I don't know if it's an invitation or just take people through what they can expect if they reach out to you and the team at SkyView and how you help them through the process.

Aaron:

Yeah. It's exciting. We've continued to build our team in 2020, and that's allowed us to have the resources available. What we're asking advisors to do is start to read through the material we're putting out there. We're putting this podcast out on a regular basis so that we can inform. We're putting more materials on our website. We're putting more materials on the Advisory Practice Board of Exchange site, and we're always open to a conversation and we have those on a weekly basis. We have a team of relationship managers that are trained specifically to help understand a particular transaction and guide advisors through this, if it's their first deal or if it's their 10th deal. We find that, which is that we have many repeat clients and each time you go through a transaction, it's still a little bit different than the last one, for any number of different reasons.

Aaron:

So what we say is, "Come to us, ask the questions. We'll set up a 30-minute introductory conversation to walk through a particular structure." One of the things that I'm really encouraging buyers and sellers to do is as they start to make that personal, emotional connection and say, "Hey, we are going to be a good fit here. I think this is a viable transaction." Come to us, call SkyView before you form that letter of intent because what we can do is help you understand, does this deal structure fit within bank financing? Is it the appropriate path we're going towards? Can you afford this acquisition or does it fit within the mission of what you're trying to accomplish? We'll help you identify the ideal deal structure, put the details together in the LOI, the letter of intent. They're going to be important to that seller, into that buyer. We can give your a blessing to that transaction and move it forward with the understanding that would fit within our bank financing structure.

Mike:

Well, that's fantastic advice. Aaron, I thank you very much for all the insights and behind the scenes stuff today. I really appreciate it. And I'm looking forward to a fantastic 2021.

Aaron:

I am as well. I think there's a lot to look forward to with this year. We're super excited. I think anytime you roll into a new year, everything looks great. I hear the weather in Austin is going to be beautiful all summer. This year. It's going to be 80 degrees and perfect every day.

Mike:

Wouldn't that'd be amazing?

Aaron:

But we are optimistic about the 2021 M&A market. We're really excited and we hope these trends continue. So we're looking forward to helping. My team has really been working hard all through fourth quarter to prepare for what we think is going to be exciting 2021. We're ready for it.

Mike:

All right. Fantastic. Well, thank you everybody for listening and we will see you next time on the Back to Business in 2021 series. Thank you everybody. Thanks Aaron.

Aaron:

Thanks Mike.

Mike:

Thank you very much for listening to this episode of the Advisor Financing Forum podcast. It's always a pleasure to have you with us. By the way, if this was your first episode of the show, welcome to the show. Make sure you subscribe to this show on your favorite podcast platform or YouTube, because we're going to be publishing a lot of really good stuff this year for you. Also, huge thanks to Aaron Hasler, I learned a ton today and I hope you did as well. Before we say goodbye, please feel free to reach out with your questions or suggestions for guests or topics for the show by hitting SkyView up on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. The social media team is very active there and they will get right back to you.

Mike:

Or if email is your jam, you can just shoot us an email at podcast@skyview.com and that will get to us well. If you want to learn more about your financing options, simply call (866) 567-6282 or email info@skyview.com. Lastly, make sure you're wearing your mask, keeping your distance and be nice to each other. Okay? We will see you next week on the Advisor Financing Forum podcast. See you. Bye.

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